WA Sexual Health Week grants provide funding to regional and remote agencies to undertake short projects targeting young people, with emphasis on Aboriginal young people. The Public Health Unit of the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) in the Goldfields has been a long-standing recipient of the WA Sexual Health Week grants.
They received their first grant in 2012 for a project called ‘Love SHAK’. The ‘Love SHAK’ project aimed to promote a local clinic, the Sexual Health Advice Klinic (SHAK), by hosting an event in the centre of Kalgoorlie. Lots of agencies supported the event on the day, along with music, games and breakdance performances.
Since the initial event the project has grown to encompass the Goldfields- Esperance region, under the project name of Goldfields SHAK Roadshow. The staff from the Public Health Unit now travel to a number of towns and provide education, promotion, awareness and a safe space to explore sexual health with the local young people often at their high schools.
The goal of the Goldfields SHAK Roadshow is to engage youth in fun, interactive and informative sessions followed by activities and opportunities to ask questions. Over the past four years the Public Health Unit has reached over 1,000 young people through their WA Sexual Health Week projects.
The WA Sexual Health Week grant has also made it possible for the WA AIDS Council to provide support to the recipients throughout the year. Building on the work conducted during WA Sexual Health Week the team from the Public Health Unit also supported National ATSI HIV Awareness Week in December last year by disseminated safer sex packs, wearing the t-shirts and discussing HIV at their World AIDS Day events.
Many of the WA Sexual Health Week grant recipients have stated that without the support and funding from the grant they wouldn’t be able to implement the project in the same way. The grant allows them to provide catering and incentives to young people which helps build rapport and gives opportunities for more in depth conversations outside of classroom settings.
There are many other exciting and dynamic projects that have been funded through the WA Sexual Health Week project. For more details about the projects or the grants please visit the website: http://www.wasexualhealthweek.com.au/